Outstanding Employees – June 2020

George GonzalezBlog, Employees

Inland Regional Center (IRC) is an awesome place to work! If you ask our staff, they will tell you time and time again that “the people” are what make IRC great. Our team is made up of more than 780 dedicated employees working to support people with developmental disabilities in the Inland Empire.

Each month, IRC staff nominate their outstanding colleagues in our Employee Recognition program. In this blog, we are highlighting the contributions of our June award winners, Genii Greco, and Christina Pedroza!

Above and Beyond Award Winner – Genii Greco

Genii is a Consumer Program Liaison Specialist for the Quality Assurance Unit. Genii is the recipient of the Above and Beyond Award (formerly Hercules Award) for June, in recognition of her dedication and exceptional work ethic! Here is what her colleagues had to say about her. “Genii assists with finding placement options for consumers needing residency in board and care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are additional steps that need to be taken to ensure the health and safety of consumers. Genii is clear with her instructions, professional, and patient with staff and vendors to help us through this trying time. IRC staff are lucky to work alongside her and I feel good knowing she is doing the best she can for our consumers every day.”

To get to know Genii a little better, we asked her a few questions. Here is what she told us!

What do you like about working at IRC/your position here?

After over 25 years at IRC, I can say with complete honesty and sincerity that the reason I first came to the agency in 1995 and the reason that I have remained has stayed the same: the individuals that we serve.  At its core, IRC has always advocated fiercely for the lives of those we serve.  Even through uncertain or difficult times, the heart of the agency has remained the same.  We learn over the years, that even through adversity, we come out stronger and better equipped to do the job that we have been tasked to do.

Tell us about your position and what a typical day might be like.

As a Quality Assurance Program Liaison Specialist, I believe that the job entails more than securing placement for those we serve, monitoring and regulation compliance of vendors, to include crisis, enhanced, and specialized residential settings, as well as an array of behavior mod and early start services.  Now more than ever, it’s about being available for brainstorming, risk mitigation, discussions, relaying of information, teaching/coaching, and quite honestly…just being there to listen, to work through issues, assisting in calming fears, and lending a hand in ensuring that we are doing the best that we can to keep consumers, vendors, families, communities, and staff as safe as possible.

How do you think this award reflects your personality and work here at the agency?

I think like many that work at IRC, or for that matter anywhere in the field of serving those with differing abilities, we want to help…with the greatest outcome being that we’ve made lives better for those that we serve.  For those that know me, I have an intense need to help and to be needed.  If I can help, I will…if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it or find someone who does. One of the best lessons both personally and professionally is the idea of leaving people better than you found them.  I say that because I’ve learned that it’s important to share our knowledge, our systems, our history, so that maybe one day the individuals that we serve won’t need us…that’s the ultimate goal…not to develop ways of doing things that we don’t share with others, or becoming enablers rather than promoting autonomy and independence.  So, it’s ok to not be needed…in the long run, that’s what we’re striving for! It’s how the agency grows: through sharing, collaborating, and empowering those around us.

What do you like to do outside of work?

When he has time for his mom, I love being around and spending time with my 22-year old son Lamar.  He’s my joy and the love of my life.  Also bringing us such happiness are our 3 fur babies: Bella, Beppo, and BJ.  Not a dull moment in this household!

Much of my time is taken with school.  Last year I entered the Doctor of Public Administration program, so that certainly takes up quite a bit of my time.  It’s truly never too late to continue education and one’s love for lifelong learning.  I’ve also taken quite a liking to gardening, and although I’m not great at it yet, it has brought a certain level of peace and healing.

Tell us a fun fact about you!

A fun fact that not many people know is that one day, I would like to (rather, I WILL) learn to ride and own a Harley.

Positivity Award Winner – Christina Pedroza

Christina Pedroza is a Consumer Services Coordinator (CSC) in the Riverside Adult West unit, and winner of June’s Positivity award! Here’s what her co-workers had to say about her “Christina is always so friendly and has a smile for everyone. My interactions with her are always pleasant. When she contacts our department for assistance, you can tell she has a smile on by the tone of her voice. I can only imagine that her positive attitude is noted by her consumers, and that is something that is so important during the quarantine.”

We asked Christina to tell us more about herself. Here is what she shared!

What do you like most about working at IRC? 

I enjoy my job at IRC because it gives me the opportunity to help my adult clients and their families find services and supports that help to improve their quality of life. Also IRC has given me another family, my co-workers are not just people, they are family. We are together through the good and the bad, whether it is related to work or personal.

Tell us about your position and what a typical day might be like.

As a CSC, the basic answer is I coordinate services for our consumers. But as a CSC, there are so many other aspects of the job. You are your clients and their families biggest cheerleaders when things go right and you are their shoulder to cry on when they do not. One day to the next is never the same, the job is always changing. I coordinate services, visit clients/families/caregivers at personal homes and Board & Care homes and complete various types of reports.

How do you think this award reflects your personality and work here at the agency?

This award reflects my personality as I truly believe a positive and caring attitude goes a long way. You never know what someone else is going through and maybe they just need a smile and some compassion.

What do you like to do outside of work? 

I love baseball! Whether it’s my son’s little league, watching the Angels game, or being outvoted by my husband and two boys and made to watch the Dodgers.

Tell us a fun fact about you! 

A fun fact about me is that I am not a big movie watcher, but during this quarantine I have become Marvel educated. With my boys, I have watched every Marvel movie in chronological order, even having to watch some of them twice! #TeamCap

Congratulations Genii and Christina! Thank you for helping make IRC a great place to work!

 

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George Gonzalez

George Gonzalez is the CSTIII for the Community Engagement Unit. He is the primary content editor for inlandrc.org as well as graphic designer for the unit. Off the clock, George is a home theater enthusiast and also moonlights as a disc jockey.

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